Roulette is a casino game that is played by placing bets on a board with numbers. It is one of the oldest and most popular games in casinos.
Often called the French wheel, the roulette game was invented in France during the 17th century. It is believed to have evolved from an earlier game called Roly Poly, which involved betting on the outcome of a spinning wheel, as well as Biribi, an Italian game where a player had to predict which numbered ticket would be pulled out of a bag.
The roulette wheel is made up of a wooden disk that is slightly convex in shape and contains metal partitions around its rim. These compartments are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36 and are painted alternately red and black, with a 37th compartment painted green.
Players place bets on specific numbers or groupings of numbers, the color red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19-36) or low (1-18). The bets pay out according to their probability and the payout odds are usually displayed at the table.
While it may seem like the roulette wheel is all luck, there are many strategies and skills that can be used to improve your chances of winning. These skills can help you win more money and make you a better player overall.
In addition to knowing which numbers to bet on, you also need to know which chips you should place on each number. A straight-up bet on a single number costs 17 chips and pays 235 chips, while a bet on both zero and number 2 costs 36 chips and pays 396 chips.
In addition, you must understand the rules of the game and how the house edge works. The house edge in European and American roulette is 2.70%, whereas the edge in French roulette is 1.35%. This means that the house is able to take a significant percentage of the money you bet without paying you back anything.